Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cherry Poppin' Daddy

Richard Armitage pops his social media cherry and Tweets. Happy birthday, Dude, have a riot!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Morning Mashup: You've Been THUNDERSTRUCK

So on Friday I spun a couple of guys playing flaming bagpipes, including one of the most badass covers of "Thunderstruck" I've ever heard. As it happens, this summer has been big for "Thunderstruck" covers and I haven't done a mashup on a Monday in a looooong time so let's get to it.

A couple of weeks ago this vid was all over the place. A Finnish bluegrass band called Steve 'N' Seagulls have been releasing heavy metal and hard rock covers all summer (including "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden and "Holy Diver" by Dio) but this is the one that went viral for them.

When I went looking for this on YouTube this morning I couldn't remember their name (it is a Monday, after all) so I searched for "Thunderstruck bluegrass," because how many versions could there possibly be? As it turns out, there were three that came up immediately including this one by The Cleverlys, who've also covered BeyoncĂ©, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga (I'm preparing myself before I listen to their take on "Gangnam Style").

While I like both of those covers, I really really like the fiddle in the second one (we've talked about my thing about fiddle players, right?). So now that we're on string instruments you know what's coming, right? There's no way I can not play the 2Cellos version, shredding it really old school.

Awake now? A couple of cups of coffee and some screaming cello later and I definitely am. Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Kilty Goofiness

I'm certain that I won't be alone in appreciating the sight of Darth Vader in a kilt playing flaming bagpipes on a unicycle. If you needed a laugh today, and I really did, thank Kathie who sent me this after my last post. :)


Kilty Goodness For A Friday

Outlander has been renewed for a second season, though whether that means more Graham McTavish buckling his swash hasn't been specified. Okay, full disclosure: I never finished reading Outlander. Someone asked me on Facebook whether it was appropriate for teens and, honestly, I don't know. I'm easily distracted and at the time I was also reading two other things and got so caught up in them that when it was time to return it to the library I had only gotten to about chapter four, I think. It's been out every time I've been back since then so I'll get to it but it might take a while. If you've read it, what did you think of it?

Of course if we're talking about Outlander we're talking about guys in kilts doing really fierce things and while that, regrettably, has NOT included flaming bagpipes as yet I'm certain that's just an oversight. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Is A ROCK STAR

A couple of days ago The Crucible officially sold out and members of Richard Armitage's fandom did a happy dance for everyone involved with the production. I mean, how cool is that? While there has been some grumbling about silly fangirls it's mostly been drowned out by the sound of rave reviews and standing ovations.

Tickets went on sale Tuesday for the 2015 production of Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre starring Benedict Cumberbatch and 100,000 tickets went in ten minutes. You know who does that? Rock stars do that. Music festivals do that. And now, apparently, Cumberbatch does that. And the grumbling about his fandom's behavior for an event that's STILL A YEAR AWAY has already started.

Josh Dickey from Mashable took aim at them last night in an oh-so-Shakespearean fashion. Hi, Josh? Wishing that Cumberbatch's fanbase would suicide en masse so that "normal people" might get to see him doesn't make you a sharp cultural critic, it makes you a mean spirited jackass. It doesn't matter if you thought you were being facetious, frankly, and given the three separate articles with your byline about the death of Robin Williams it was breathtakingly tone deaf. And "normal people" like what, Josh? People who don't write fan fiction, maybe? You might want to discuss that with Mark Gatiss. People who aren't female, maybe?  Because, wow, that's a new one. People who realized that these tickets are a hot property and scored before you did? I'd be willing to hazard a guess that that's a little closer to the truth. Oh, wait, did I just make an assumption about you based on something I read online without knowing anything else about you? Huh. Who would do something like that?

To any of you who managed to get tickets, congratulations and have a great time. I may not be part of your clan but I get your excitement and I'm thrilled for all of you. I have no doubt that he's going to be as fantastic as he always is. Total ninja, that one. I think some Cumberbatch might be in order here, don't you? Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SpReAd The Love INTO THE STORM Challenge: Burners Without Borders -- Leave No Trace But The Glitter In The Air

This post is part of the SpReAd The Love blogger challenge honoring the opening of Into the Storm. An Anonymous Co-Conspirator will donate $1 for each post from August 7 through August 22 about disaster relief organizations (in addition to other kindnesses that we collect) to charities supported by Richard Armitage via Just Giving, and the disaster relief organizations chosen by you, up to a maximum of $200. If you would like to participate in this challenge please email me at funkybluedelphinium (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line DISASTER RELIEF so that we can link to your post. If you would like to participate but don't have a blog of your own, contact me or Obscura via her blog Ancient Armitage and we'll find a host for you. You can find other posts in this series by Obscura at Ancient Armitage and by Servetus at Me+Richard.

The annual, spectacular party that is Burning Man will be happening at the end of this month in Black Rock City, NV and the annual, wet blanket smack talk about Burners will be happening more or less simultaneously. "Hippies and slackers," critics sniff at the nerve of anyone who might prioritize cutting loose in the desert over, uh, sniffing critically at the nerve of anyone cutting loose in the desert. There's more to Burners than that, sniffy critics.

While it's definitely a party it's also an experiment in community building. Burning Man founder Larry Harvey wrote out the Ten Principles in 2004, "crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community's ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event's inception."  These principles include things like gifting (the basis of BRC's economy), communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace behind (unless you can make the place better), participation and immediacy and embracing them isn't limited to the playa.

In 2005, moved by the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, a team of Burners headed directly from Black Rock City to Biloxi and Pearlington, Mississippi, to do whatever they could to help those affected in the region. According to Burners Without Borders, "Over the course of eight months, BWB volunteers gifted over $1M worth of reconstruction and debris removal to the residents of Mississippi." Since then Burners have gifted demolition and clean-up to Union Beach, NJ after Hurricane Sandy; coordinated a communication and resources hub in Tacloban, Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan; and are currently providing demolition and clean up assistance to flood victims in Milliken, CO.

They also support civic initiatives both in the US and internationally through grants and volunteer coordination. I particularly love the winner of the Walk The Talk Grant from this year but all of their projects are important and aimed at creating lasting change. Not bad for a bunch of slacking hippies and proof that if you have a group of friends and a desire to change your world you can move mountains, even if you have to use your own hands.